Surving the wulf-monath and the return of Pollyanna and the muse

January, a time for new beginnings and transition, derives its name Ianuarius from the Latin word for door (ianua) and not necessarily from the Roman god Janus. I also like the alternative Saxon name of Wulf-monath, which conjures a much more northern vision of the cold, hard, first month of the year. Here on the… Continue reading Surving the wulf-monath and the return of Pollyanna and the muse

Short back and sides?

We've added a new task to our list of winter maintenance jobs: cutting the hedge. After the struggle to find an evergreen shrub which would tolerate our sandy soil and windy climate we have finally succeeded in growing a wind break. Unfortunately we have become victims of our own success and have reached the stage… Continue reading Short back and sides?

The Birthday Project

I don't think that I was ever really convinced that the orchard would be our last project and nor will regular readers who are now familiar with the Head Gardeners modus operandus. So when the new project was announced at Christmas I didn't know whether to have hysterics or give him a big hug, particularly… Continue reading The Birthday Project

The Ambivalent Fundamentalist

Somewhere along the line the botanical purist meets the gardening hedonist and the ambivalent fundamentalist emerges. In the garden there is not too much of a conflict of interest as I am quite content to grow pure species, subspecies, hybrids, geographical¬† and horticultural varieties, plants of doubtful parentage or even clones. The growing conditions in… Continue reading The Ambivalent Fundamentalist

Right plant in the right place

Anyone who gardens on the coast or on a wind swept hillside will understand the shelter belt catch-22 - how can I establish a shelter belt when the plants need a shelter belt to get established?¬† The obvious answer is to protect the plants with a physical wind break, which is feasible if the prevailing… Continue reading Right plant in the right place